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Price: Meanings and Significance

Qualitative Consumer Research

ISBN: 978-1-78714-492-7, eISBN: 978-1-78714-491-0

ISSN: 1548-6435

Publication date: 1 August 2017



Price has conventionally been viewed as an indicator of either monetary sacrifice or product quality. Previous studies on price are preoccupied with reactions and perceptions of consumers upon encountering price information. Research with explicit discussion of the meanings of price to consumers is rare. The purpose of the current research is to revisit the meaning of price to consumers in general, the deeper meanings that price has for people, and the conventional meanings that it carries.


Three focus groups and nine in-depth interviews were conducted. A total of 36 individuals participated in the study.


Our findings suggest that the notion of price is multifaceted. In addition to the conventional meanings, price can be related to how consumers perceive themselves and/or their lives in the socioeconomic order they inhabit.

Practical implications

Managerially, exploring the meanings of price could yield further productive results. As the implications of price regarding how consumers feel about themselves are revealed, pricing strategies that yield greater satisfaction for consumers can be discovered and implemented.


To the best of our knowledge, research with an explicit focus on the meaning of price for adult consumers is rare. By providing deeper insights into what price truly means to consumers, this study contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the concept of price.



Zolfagharian, M., Weisstein, F.L. and Fuat Fırat, A. (2017), "Price: Meanings and Significance", Qualitative Consumer Research (Review of Marketing Research, Vol. 14), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 161-174.



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